What goes around, goes around, goes around
Comes all the way back around
Yes, just as in Justin’s song, things do come all the way back around.
Take Italy, for example, that resplendent, dazzling, vivacious country so rich in beauty, culture and cuisine, so in continuity with its majestic past and now an ebullient future.
Thanks to meeting my brilliant new friend and partner Carmelo Cutuli on LinkedIn, the PR firm that mia moglia Angela and I started nearly 40 years ago, TransMedia Group, just opened an office in Rome. Take a look: https://transmediaitaly.com
Angela was born in Italy. She IS Italy. Breathes Italy. Talks Italy. She comes from Giovinazzo, a small, utterly charming, captivating fishing village on the Adriatic, a few kilometers north of Bari. I met her one glorious night in a swanky bar on Upper East Side Manhattan and fell in amore subito with her dark eyes, intoxicating voice, intriguing accent and her Mona Lisa smile.
Rome is where we went on our honeymoon. When we finally got off the 17-day cruise on the Cristoforo Colombo, we checked into a pensione near Castel Saint’Angelo. We checked in, but we couldn’t check out.
The crotchety old landlady held our suitcases in ransom until we paid the bill, but the money that was being wired to me from the states was taking forever. So we were forced to remain pensione prisoners there much longer than we had planned. To make things worse, it was winter and Signora dutifully shut the heat promptly at 9 PM, which is probably how the rest of our family got an early start, as we had to do something to keep warm.
I was broke and sort of restlessly aimless in those days, and here I was now in Rome buying cigarettes individually as I couldn’t afford a whole pack. I had to pawn my camera so we could eat at night and go to movies where I lived on subtitles. You wouldn’t believe the amazed look on the faces of Italian shopkeepers upon meeting a broke American. Really? Weren’t we all millionaires? Angela’s money, which she had earned managing a sewing factory in New York, had just about run out. So where was that wire? What else could I pawn?
I was still an actor then so I got a job at Cinecittà dubbing films into English. If you ever stay up very late, I mean very late, watching a dubbed gladiator film, you might hear one of them yell “kill him” with a nasal, New Jersey accident. That’s me. Yes, I am Spartacus.
More about our PR firm’s expansion to voluptuous Italy later. Stay tuned.